Monday, July 31, 2006

"Sorry, I forgot to call in payroll"

Yep. No explanation, just that.

I've been stretching my pennies (the last of which I put in my gas tank yesterday so my meter would read "Low Fuel") for the last 4 days. Manu Chau was paid for, but so were several other things. I put an emergency stash of $50 bucks to send to my North Carolina account, but that hasn't deposited yet (and it's been more than 2 weeks). So I've been a little stressed. I already cashed in the milk bottles and the yogurt containers.

It's a little frustrating when your organization forgets to call in payroll. If nothing else, we hope that working in the social benefit sector that people would be sensitive to one's financial needs. When you earn a percentage of what is considered low-income in an area, it's totally frustrating not to get one's paycheck on time.


At least I have beans and rice in the house...

The Weekend
Ay, Dios Mio. When did it start?

When I turned in my final paper near midnight on Thursday. Then I let out a little sigh and proceeded to record my comments for a meeting that was taking place on Friday that I couldn't attend because I was taking a class at the same time.

Well, the comments were never played. Grr.

But I had an amazing Art of Sound Design class that has me thinking, "Screw the save the world stuff, just listen and enhance sound for the rest of your life. You LOVE to, radio, voices, water, birds, sirens..."

We'll see.

Friday night I traversed to the Berkeley Greek Theater to see one of the best concerts of my life...Manu Chau...and opening were Monterrey's Kinky.
I had no idea Kinky were opening. I saw them 3 years ago at the Independent and they rocked. I was all over the place. I lost my proverbial S.

God. This is the kind of concert where I am mezmorized by the performers. The bass player of Kinky makes Les Claypool of Primus seem stiff. And if you've seen them live, you KNOW he's all over the place on stage.

The theater was about half-full for Kinky. The walls of the amphitheater were steep in pitch and seeing the classical architecture of the Greek seemed other-worldly. Columns lit by gels. The excitement resonated in the stone about me - from the crowd there to concerts past.

The DJ was playing excellent tunes, I got off the bus and called to my crew. I connected with my friend Erick briefly and then Joe found me and brought me to Michelle, Denise, Sebastian and Anita.

6 of us.

The music cut off at 7:29. Kinky came on stage promptly at 7:30...exploding into their first number and just rocking a 45 minute set.

Normally I take notes during a show, but I was up dancing and mezmorized by the bass player, the lead singer, and the accordionist bouncing all over the stage. I had heavy boots on, so I lightly bounced, moved my hips, and grooved.

I remember when I first heard their tune "Ejercisio". It was in Nevada City. I went up to visit my friend Mike for the first time and he introduced me to KVMR's "Omnium Gatherum" on Friday afternoons. It's a quirky, world-everything kinda show for 2 hours.

The weather was chilly. Fog engulfed the amphitheater, but the crowd was rockin' and our energy buzzed throughout the place.

During shows I tend to forget that other people are around me. I lock into the artist and I watch exactly what they're doing. The guitarist was playing a gorgeous old-style jazz body guitar. And all of them were all over the place. It was awesome.

They said their final good-bye, even though I wasn't ready for them to leave.

Harumph. I got off my high.

And the crowd felt it was blazing time. I noticed in the 15 minutes it took for them to get off stage and for Manu Chau to take the stage, a familiar scent began to cloud up the amphitheater. I even saw some people light up all around me. This convinces me that the whole drug war is bullshit. They're all over the 'hood nabbing people for little amounts of MJ and they're skipping all the suburban kids who are just carrying it to the shows.


The lights go down. The theater is full. The sun has set (what there was of it) and anticipation cloaks the crowd. We see the band off stage right and...

And one at a time, the band takes the stage. It's a build up to a musical orgasm that's about to last for 2.5 hours.
5 men on stage. The last one to come on is Manu himself, head wrapped in a flag? scarf? and he has his guitar and the show is a GO.

The ska-ification of all the track is AWESOME. We're dancing. People are yelling around me. I have long stopped yelling at concerts, because voice recovery is so difficult for me.

The whole BAND is amazing. And I am watching him lead the crowd to a frenzy...talking about revolution and unity and governments...and then singing such favourites as "Me Gusta".

"Me Gusta" put me in a daze.

I haven't been to a show with someone as a years. There was a brief Regina Carter show in 2001, but the last person I went to a show with and held hands with was Tom Petty or INXS with Dave in college.

The lyrics to "Me Gusta" are super-sweet. He basically lists things that he likes and ends each verse with "Me gustas tu".

It's the kind of song that ignites the silly romantic in me. I became hyper-sensitive to all the couples in the crowd. Some were swaying together, hugging one another.

I thought that was super-cool.

I came back into the space, into my head, and despite some idiot crowding folks, dug the show. Watched them play, and felt the wall of power they gave off to the crowd.

There were stage divers, crowd surfers, and one guy who wasn't ready to commit to the dive. He sat on stage and did his little jig and then walked off. Crazy.

The security dudes sucked. People began pouring in from the sides. All of them affable. All of them wanted to share the spotlight and good vibes with Manu. Some took the mike, some joined the guitar. Most just danced and then dove off into the crowd.

It was good.

I guess what threw me off the most was that he continued to say "Good-night" and then proceeded to play another 30 minutes. 5 encores...he played just about everything in the repetoire that I wanted. I had taken my shoes off at this point and had claimed my space to dance and let go.

I needed a cigarette after that show.

Dios mio. Que RICO!

I woke up for my doctor's appointment, went home, and napped. A lot.
I also cleaned a little bit.

Went to the Palestinian festival, saw some dancing, beautiful men, and heard some awesome music. One of my students was my escort. She fed me...hella good.

Then I went to a Arlene's Engagement party.

Philipinos can PARTY. And, damn, there was AWESOME FOOD!!!!

I was about to burst....

got home about 11 pm (was bussing it), and began reading Winnie the Pooh en espanol. I fell asleep to Winnie rolling in mud to disguise himself as a raincloud from the bees.

1 comment:

Karen said...

Man, that show sounds AMAZING!!! I miss the Bay Area! T-Town gets a bunch of rock and blues, and Seattle gets SOME cool world music acts. But nothing compares to the Bay Area.

Keep on groovin' for me!